Making Computer Science cool!


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Resources and tools for educators and parents to expose kids/students to computer science and technology in general.

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Making Computer Science cool!

  1. 1. Microsoft CorporationMaking Computer Science Cool!
  2. 2. Enrollment in Computer Sciencehas dropped over the years
  3. 3. As teachers you influencestudent choices through theirexperiences at school
  4. 4. Do students think computersare just for geeks?
  5. 5. Computer science is a broadfield that can appeal to manystudents
  6. 6. It’s time to make computers funagain!
  7. 7. For the complete novice…
  8. 8. What is it?• Kodu is a visual programming language made for creating gameson the PC or Xbox• Used to teach creativity, problem solving, storytelling, andprogramming• No design or programming skills required• Check out the video
  9. 9. Who can use it• Kodu can be taught by any teacher, no previous programmingexpertise required• Age 8 and up typically have the most success
  10. 10. Where do I get resources and information• Fuse labs (• Classroom kit for educators (set of lessons plans and activities)
  11. 11. For those who are comfortablewith computers but notprogramming…
  12. 12. What is it?• Tool from Microsoft Research that lets you create scripts on yourpc or mobile device (anything with a browser) just by tapping yourscreen• Create games and apps.• Scripts can be shared just for fun, or exported and published tothe Windows Store or Windows Phone store
  13. 13. Who can use it• This will introduce programming concepts and is a good steppingstone to coding• Grade 8 and up more likely to have success
  14. 14. Where do I get resources and information• Touch Develop website (• Pre-made courses exist at– Introduction to touchdevelop– Creating graphics with a turtle– Creating simple games
  15. 15. Meet the turtle• wasoriginally developed by a Microsoftevangelist to help kids learn how to code.• You can learn Kodu, SmallBasic, or C#.(The C# is more advanced)• Kids complete “recipes” (e.g. get theturtle to draw a square) and areencouraged to experiment with their code• Works well as a single day workshop
  16. 16. For the kids who are ready toexplore coding
  17. 17. What is it?• Building an app and seeing it run on a device or in the store canbe very exciting• Apps is a world students know, when they build one themselves,they can relate!• Students can publish to the Windows 8 or Windows Phone storefor free, or as a teacher you can publish your students apps forfree through the DreamSpark program (accounts require a creditcard)
  18. 18. Who can do it• High school students have the most success.• TechUMe program in Ottawa pairs high school classes withelementary school classes who work together to build an app (nota Microsoft program, it’s run by a local technology group)
  19. 19. Where do I get resources and information• Free software at (if your school isn’t signed up wecan fix that!)• Getting started guides at for anyone• We have a Pong HTML5 game template, you can build from (we have astep-by-step guide for changing the art assets) then you can startupdating the game code (e.g. PokePong or Super Paddle Ball in theWindows 8 store)• ZipApp can be used to create Windows 8 apps without coding (we havea step-by-step guide you can use) (e.g. Meow Master or K2J Fitness inthe Windows 8 store)• and for more resources
  20. 20. For the kids who are willing toget deeper into code to do coolstuff!
  21. 21. What is it?• For the more advanced student you can build some amazingapplications!• Don’t just build an app. Build a cool app or game!• Students can publish to the Windows 8 or Windows Phone storefor free, or as a teacher you can publish your students apps forfree through the DreamSpark program (accounts require a creditcard)
  22. 22. Who can do it• High school students have the most success.• One of the top rated student apps in Canada right now, was builtby a high school student (SimTrader it’s a virtual stock tradinggame)
  23. 23. Where do I get resources and information• Free software at (get it for your school!)• We have free art assets they can use to build games• We have a platformer game template they can customize (e.g. Rubba Rabbit on Windows 8)• and has LOTS ofresources.• Ready to use courses– Windows Phone Programming– App development for modern UI
  24. 24. What is it?• XNA is a popular beginnersgaming framework• Can be used to build greatgames for Xbox and desktop• Unity is also a popular platformfor beginner gamers and can beused to publish to just about anymobile platform includingWindows 8 & Windows PhoneIntroduce them to gaming
  25. 25. Who can use it• XNA Requires them to code inC#• High school students will havebest results• Unity takes a little while to getgoing but once you do you canmake amazing games checkout Fling Theory on WindowsPhone or Windows 8.Introduce them to gaming
  26. 26. Where do I get resources andinformation• Download Game Studio• XNA Developer Center• Unity websiteCourses• Introduction to programmingthrough Game developmentusing XNA Game Studio• 16 chapter course withexercises, slides, demos, labsIntroduce them to gaming
  27. 27. Kinect for WindowsWHAT IS IT?• Kinect gives computers eyes,ears, and the capacity to usethem!• Create applications that allowpeople to interact naturallywith computers by simplygesturing and speaking• Web site:
  28. 28. ResourcesThe Kinect SDKCourses at Faculty ConnectionUsing Kinect for Windows withXNAEducational gaming with Kinect,teaching angles and timeUnfortunately academic pricingon Kinect for Windows is onlyavailable in the US, not inCanada.
  29. 29. Xbox Kinect vs Kinect for WindowsWhat’s the difference?• Kinect for Windows is tested forWindows and has near mode,skeletal tracking, and broader APIsupport• Kinect for Xbox 360 was built forand tested for the Xbox 360 only.• Translated this means, yeah thereare people who use the KinectSDK with their Xbox Kinectsensors, but if it doesn’t workexactly as advertised, rememberyou are effectively running onunsupported hardware, so therecould be some bugs.
  30. 30. Sometimes a goal helps…Apps and games can beentered in the ImagineCup•
  31. 31. .NET GadgeteerWhat is it?• An open source toolkit forbuilding small electronic devicesusing the .NET Micro Frameworkand Visual Studio• Someone with little or noelectronics background can builddevices made up of componentslike sensors, lights, switches,displays, communicationmodules, motor controllers, andmore.
  32. 32. Some Gadgeteer projectsArcade ConsoleTweet PrinterRobot withPhone ImageStreaming
  33. 33. .NET GadgeteerResources• Website at Faculty Connection• Teaching .NET Gadgeteer inschool• 8 – 1 hour sessions forteaching .NET Gadgeteer
  34. 34. There is a lotout there tohelp you
  35. 35. DreamSparkFaculty ConnectionImagine Cupand so much more…